Pisa, Tuscany, February 24, 1835.
Some letters of mine which have been published in the Evening Post have probably informed you where I am as well as made you acquainted with the principal incidents of my journey. A few days since I received mother's letter of the 3d of January which reached me in about six weeks from the date. 1 What it says of the snow and cold weather made me reflect on the difference between this climate and that I have left. We have seen no snow here except on the summits of the Apennines which have several times been seen brilliantly white with it beyond the green fields. The daisy has been in blossom all winter; the flowers of the crocus began to open in January, and about a week since cowslips violets and other flowers began to appear. This week peach and plum trees are in blossom. 1 have said the fields were green--but it is not with grass, for there is scarce any pasturage here--but with crops of wheat, turnips, cabbages, artichokes, the cauliflower, a kind of bean plant and even flax. These plants, with the exception perhaps of the turnips and cabbages grow very little it is true during the winter, but they keep healthy and advance somewhat, notwithstanding that the night frosts are frequently strong enough to cover still water with a thin crust of ice, which is, however, melted at noon. Orange and lemon trees grow here in the gardens in the open air; they do not blossom during the winter, but they are still hanging with fruit. Notwithstanding this mildness of the climate, the trees of deciduous foliage have remained as bare as in New England, and even now are so torpid to the influence of the sun and genial weather that there is little swelling of the buds to be perceived. There are several kinds of evergreens here, a kind of pine with a top like an umbrella, the ilex which is a species of oak with an abundance of spear-shaped leaves of the size of those of the plum tree, the olive with a grayish green leaf, and the cypress with a spiry growth like that of the Lombardy poplar but foliage like that of the red cedar. Then there are various evergreen shrubs, which are quite common, such as the laurel and the myrtle; even the blackberry bush is an evergreen here. The vines in Italy are trained upon trees which here in Pisa are generally a kind of poplar and in other places are sometimes a species of maple and sometimes the white mulberry and occasionally willow. These trees are all pollards, they have a trunk of about eight or ten feet in height from which half a dozen small branches are suffered to spring, a part of which are annually lopped off as they grow too large, and their places supplied by new shoots. The trees are placed